Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Pictures

Because I love any excuse to take pictures of my kids, I did a Christmas photo shoot with them for fun.  I had a friend come over one morning and take some pictures of her little girl too.  Sawyer wasn't really feeling very "model-esq" this morning and was less than pleased that I was using him again to take pictures.  Parker sure had a good time though:) 

Warning:  this post is entirely Parker and Sawyer.  But the older two were at school, I wasn't intentionally keeping them out:)

And I love the pictures.  While I don't necessarily have any use for all of them other than scrapbook purposes, I think I will have to do this every year.  And next year I might even try to include the older two;)


Monday, December 16, 2013


I decided back earlier this fall that we needed some current family pictures.  We have few pictures (at least good ones) of our family of 6.  Considering the sixth member of our family is almost one, that's a little sad:)  So, I was on a mission to get some current pictures of our family for Christmas cards.  That's why I didn't share more of them sooner....I was waiting until I got our Christmas card sent out.  That's checked off the list (however, finishing christmas shopping isn't yet....) so it's time to share.  Can I just say that I was beyond please with these pictures.  We didn't have anyone to take them, so I just used my timer on my camera.  We used the Mark and Mary's pew and their backyard.  So that was all set up before.  We got there after naps, got the kids all set up and then I got the camera set to where we could all been seen and straight:)  Then I ran into the picture.  So enjoy a few of our pictures.  Sometime (hopefully before Sawyer is 2) I plan on getting a few of these pictures up in the house:)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Making Dreams Come True

AKA: Finally taking our train obsessed 5 year old on a train ride!

Back in the middle of November we took a whirlwind trip (really....we were only gone 36 hrs!) to Branson, MO with the kids.  We met my brother, sister in law, and our two nephews too.  We went for the sole purpose of riding the Branson Scenic Railway Polar Express train ride.  Eli has never been on a train before, but I'm pretty sure he dreams about it about 100 times a day.  So, when I saw a billboard when we were there this summer, advertising the polar express ride, I knew we needed to go.  Branson isn't an awful drive for us and I knew we could make it a fun, but short trip.  So I asked my brother if he would be interested in going with us too.

Fast forward to the big day.  FINALLY!  Eli was so excited.  We left for Branson around 6 and got in right at 11.  We got to do a little shopping at one of the outlet malls and let the kids walk around and burn off some energy.  Then we headed to the hotel for naps for the little boys.  And the big kids got to go swimming at the hotel pool.  Which also had some pretty sweet, and big, slides.  I'm pretty sure they were too small to go down any of them, even with daddy, but I think they still had a blast.  After naps (or lack there-of for Parker) we headed to the train station for the big event!  Eli was pretty excited!

So the pictures...... 

Overall the train ride was pretty cool.  In reality I actually thought it was totally lame and a waste of money, but the kids had fun.  That's what we were there for:)  I only thought it was lame because the train literally just went back and forth on the track.  The kids didn't really even know the difference once it turned dark:)  And I hated it because we had to keep the kids in the their seats the whole time.  I get it, it's a safety thing, but seriously, the ride was a bit over an hour.  It is very challenging to keep 6 kids, 5 and under, in their seats for an hour.  Especially the two year old and 10 month old!  But again the kids had a blast.  They got a cookie and hot chocolate, a bell from santa, got to sit on santa's lap, see  dancing elves, see lights, and listen to the polar express story.  A fun evening!  After the train we headed back to the hotel with the kiddos because they were beyond tired and poor Sawyer wanted to have some freedom to crawl!  And the kids got to watch cable in their bunk beds, in their own little bunk nook....they thought that was pretty cool:)  

The next morning we packed up, checked out, grabbed breakfast, and headed home!  It was a fast and fun trip!  Next year we are just going to spend the day at Silver Dollar City and see the lights:)

Monday, December 2, 2013


I'm doing something totally out of the ordinary for me and blogging about Thanksgiving before Christmas:)  Then I will go back and fill in.  

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We spent it with family and had lots of food.  We are lucky enough to have our our immediate family here in town so we don't have to travel during the holiday.  It's sort of totally fabulous!  We had a low key morning around the house and even got out for a family walk and to soak up some sunshine.  We started our Thanksgiving festivities over at Brian's parent's house.  We had our traditional thanksgiving meal there.  The kids ate a little and ran around and played with their cousins all afternoon.  They were in heaven.  They LOVE playing with their cousins!  And even though we live in the same town, it doesn't happen nearly often enough.  So they soak up any time they get with them:)  

 And Aunt Erin made these fabulous little workbooks with fun little thanksgiving worksheets in them.  The older kids really enjoyed working on them for a while.

 And then they had to head to the basement.....because no trip to granny and papa's is complete without slot cars and trains.  This kept them entertained for a very long time.

 The girls ran off at one point and decided to make themselves "pretty."  Which in case you were wondering involves head bands and band aids:)

 Love these two sweet girls.  It's a bunch of boys in this family, so these two gotta stick together!  Cant wait to see their relationship blossom even more as they grow together.
 And the obligatory cousin picture.  Erin and I decided that this is going to have to become a yearly tradition whether they like it or not:)  I figure it can only get easier from here!!  Next year Sawyer will hopefully not being trying to crawl off.  Such a cute bunch of kids!

After granny and papa's house, we headed to my mom's house for meal number 2.  However this one wasn't a traditional thanksgiving meal.  Bierocks, tatertots and fresh fruit.  YUM!  Their cousins weren't able to be there for this meal, so our kids just soaked up the attention all to themselves:)  Aunt Claire painted Kamdyn's fingernails which made her very happy.

 And Sawyer helped with the dishes:)

After that we headed home for some pj's and movie time!  Great end to a fabulous day with our family. We are richly blessed in so many ways, but our wonderful families definitely top that list and getting to spend the day with them is always one of our favorite things.

Hope you all stuffed yourself and had a wonderful holiday with your families as well!!